Former President Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that former TV host Dr. Mehmet Oz “won” the Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary — even though, with thousands of absentee ballots and votes still to be counted in the Pittsburgh area, Oz had a razor-thin lead.
Trump backed Oz and attacked his main rival, David McCormick, in the final stages of the campaign.
“The Club for Growth candidate [Kathy Barnette], who lost, took away many votes from Oz. Also, early mail-in ballots were sent out without my confirming them yet. Despite all that, Oz won!” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social.
Trump, who lost Pennsylvania in 2020 on mail-in ballots that heavily favored President Biden, added, “Here we go again! In Pennsylvania, they can’t count mail-in ballots. It’s a big mess. Our country should go to paper elections, with same-day votes. Just made in France, zero problems. Get Smart America!!!”
On Wednesday morning, Oz led by a margin of 0.12 percentage points – or just over 1,500 votes – over McCormick, according to an incomplete tally from the state government.
In addition to a large number of absentee ballots yet to be counted, 33 electoral districts in McCormick’s home base of Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, have not reported results and an online message says the precinct electoral commission would not update its vote counts until after a Friday morning meeting.
The former president’s support has often been crucial in settling contentious Republican primary elections, but Trump took two major blows on Tuesday when Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) and Idaho gubernatorial candidate Janice McGeachin voted in opposition despite the support of the 45th Republican. Presidents lost their races.
Trump scored a major victory in Pennsylvania when his pick for gubernatorial nominee Sen. Doug Mastriano easily won that primary after championing the former president’s claims that voter fraud led to his 2020 loss to Biden. Mastriano also attended the big pro-Trump rally that preceded last year’s Capitol riot and was caught on video walking through destroyed barricades during the violence.
Pennsylvania Lt. gov. John Fetterman, an ally of Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), easily won the Democratic Senate primary despite undergoing primary surgery to install a pacemaker and defibrillator after suffering a stroke last week.
The general election winner will replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
Oz would be the nation’s first Muslim senator, while McCormick, who earned $22 million last year, would be one of the wealthiest members of Congress.
Up until this year, McCormick was CEO of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, and enlisted the support of Trump West Wing advisers Kellyanne Conway and Hope Hicks, as well as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He is married to former Trump Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell.
Trump attacked McCormick at a recent rally, calling him a “liberal Wall Street Republican” who “is not MAGA.”
The ex-president also poked fun at McCormick’s aggressive attitude towards his former assistants, saying: “If anyone was within 200 miles of me, they would hire them.”
McCormick’s campaign was rocked by criticism of Bridgewater’s decision last year to raise $1.25 billion for new investment in China – which has made the company one of the top foreign investors in the country. His allies also denied he had outsourced jobs to India at another company.
“I know he was with a company that managed money for communist China, and he’s absolutely the nominee for special interests and globalists and the Washington establishment,” Trump said at a rally for Oz, adding, “David is going full controlled, that is the opponent, through [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell, the old crow, the old broken crow.”
A super PAC supporting McCormick’s candidacy reportedly spent more than $17 million, while a similar group supporting Oz spent about $3 million.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/18/trump-says-oz-won-pa-gop-primary-despite-likely-recount/ Trump Says “Oz Won” Pa. GOP primary despite likely recount